The Sermon on the Mount is a great teaching given by Jesus to his apostles and to a great crowd at the beginning of his ministry, shortly after his baptism. It is reported in the Gospel of Matthew in chapters 5, 6 and 7. He begins with these words: “ Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them.” the preaching of the beatitudes begins the speech.
Given by Jesus from the top of a mountain overlooking Lake Tiberias in Galilee, this speech is the longest in the New Testament. Jesus speaks to the disciples and the great crowd gathered to hear his unparalleled preaching. It was at the beginning of his public life, shortly after his baptism on the banks of the Jordan, that Jesus gave this great teaching. The Sermon on the Mountain is reported by the Apostle and Evangelist Matthew in chapters 5, 6 and 7 of his gospel. Luke’s gospel reports the same speech, called “Blessings and Woes” in a shortened version (Luke 6:17-49).
The Sermon on the mountain contains the Beatitudes and the prayer of our Father. In this speech, Jesus reveals the high mission of the disciples : To be the salt of the earth and light of the world. Shortly thereafter, he made a key statement: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17). Jesus thus recalls the unavoidable character of the ten commandments which are the immutable Divine Law. The Sermon continues with a detailed explanation of the ten commandments and their application as the Lord expects. The teaching of Jesus raises the Law of Moses to the rank of perfection: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew, 5:48). The teaching given by Jesus during his three years of public life aims to bring man back to the perfect practice of the Law of the Lord.
“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Excerpt from the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:8-9)
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” (Matthew 5:13)
“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (Matthew 6: 9-13)
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” (Matthew 5:17). “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:17-18)
In the gospels is contained the teaching of Christ: The words of eternal life. With Hozana, let us listen to this word, let it transform ourselves and renew our lives!